Welcome the Weary and Heavy-Laden

The Very Rev. Tracey Lind

July 9, 2023

The Chapel of St. James the Fisherman

Proper 9A: Genesis 24.34-38, 42-49, 58-67 – Romans 7.15-25a – Matthew 11.1609, 25-30

Listen to these words written by Emma Lazarus and inscribed on the Statue of Liberty:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of our teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless tempest-tost, to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door![1]

Now listen again to the words of Jesus preached to a crowd in Galilee:

Come to me,
all you that are weary and heavy-laden
and I will give you rest.  (Mt 11:28)

Do you hear the similarity?  When I lived in New Jersey, I would periodically visit Ellis Island.  It was a pilgrimage of sorts, a way of remembering and honoring my ancestors, especially my paternal grandmother who was born shortly after her family immigrated through what has been called an “island and hope and tears.”   Did you know that about forty percent of all Americans are able to trace an ancestor to the Immigration Center at Ellis Island?

Walking vast empty halls, looking at old photos, and listening to tape-recorded voices one can hear and see echoes of the past. . . .

[1]Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus,” 1883